Properly Water Roses

Roses love water. The correct amount of water helps them grow and promotes large, long-lasting flowers with rich color and thick, sturdy petals. Water transports nutrients to the rose through both the roots and the leaves.

When watering your plants, remember these tips:

  • Water roses early in the day, at ground level, to help prevent diseases like blackspot.
  • Avoid routinely wetting the foliage, especially when overcast. This can encourage and spread disease.
  • Once a week spray your rose bush with water if needed and only on a sunny day. A spray nozzle will provide enough force to clear the leaves of dust, dirt, spider mites, and other insects.

Soil, temperature, and surrounding plants affect how much water a rose needs. In temperate climates, weekly watering is usually enough and two inches of water per week (4 to 5 gallons) may be all that is needed. If the soil is sandy or the garden is hot, dry, or windy, more frequent watering may be necessary. If your soil holds a lot of moisture, be careful not to overwater as too much water can promote root rot.

The best care for your plants is to water deeply to achieve a deep root system. Light watering will result in shallow roots, making the plant more susceptible to the effects of summer heat and winter freezes. So water slowly and deeply.

Test the soil with your finger to know when to water. If your finger is completely dry, your plants need more water. If it is muddy, there might be too much water or not enough drainage. Another indicator of too much watering is yellowing leaves that are soft. Yellowing leaves that are dry and crispy can indicate insufficient watering. If the soil is moist, that will indicate that the watering is just right.

Use Mulch to Conserve Water

A great way to conserve water by up to 50% is by mulching. A 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch keeps weeds down and cools the soil, lowering the temperature 10 to 20 degrees.

Purchase mulch from your local nursery or use what you have on hand. Newspaper, either shredded or laid down in sheets, anchored with soil, will keep weeds at bay and retain moisture. Aged sawdust (composted for a year to prevent loss of Nitrogen), herbicide-free, grass clippings, compost, hay, and aged horse manure are good choices, too. We recommend using our Heirloom brand Mint Compost for best results.

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